Legend of Korra Weekly Review – Civil Wars, Pt. 2

Hey everyone! It’s time for this weeks Legend of Korra review! This week proved to be a particularly hilarious episode, yet still delivered plenty of heart and substance. If you haven’t seen this weeks episode yet, be sure to swing by Nick.com to watch it for free or, like me, buy a season pass on iTunes to get the show delivered to you each week in HD! And if you missed last weeks episode, be sure to check it out here.

Spoilers for this week’s episode lie ahead…

Another beautiful view of the Southern Air Temple
Another beautiful view of the Southern Air Temple

Let’s just get this out of the way right now. This week’s episode was about two things, Sky Bison tea parties and Varrick hiding in a Platypus-Bear. Or sure there was something about Korra’s parents being on trial and a civil war starting between the two tribes… but all I remember was Ikki and Blueberry Spicehead having tea with Tenzin.

I kid.

But seriously, this week’s episode proved that the odd-ball humor many of us loved from Avatar: The Last Airbender is still very much present in this new series. The first season of Korra had it’s funny moments, don’t get me wrong, but very rarely did we get an episode like this. It’s refreshing to see a show capable of being so funny without breaking character. Keep in mind, they could have just stuffed Varrick in that Platypus-bear for a single scene and it would have been funny, but nope! True to his eccentric-ness, Varrick stayed inside “Ping Ping” the whole episode. He even had Zhu Li in there to keep him company (and serve him tea).

What's the money for? Bribery of course!
What’s the money for? Bribery of course!

And you know, I gotta say, Zhu Li is one hell of a woman. She’s either madly in love with Varrick or owes him a Wookie Life Dept or something, because her level of dedication to Varrick is seriously out of this world. Props to her for managing to put up with/keep up with Varrick, as he’s quite the wild card.

One... Two... Three hands. That spells dedication.
One… Two… Three hands. That spells dedication.

Anyway… on to the tea party. How many of you guessed last week that Tenzin would find Ikki having a tea party with a bunch of baby Sky Bison? Put your hands down. You most certainly did not.

(Clockwise starting with Tenzin) Tenzin, Blueberry Spicehead, Ikki,  Juniper Lightningbug, Twinkle Starchild, Princess Rainbow.
(Clockwise starting with Tenzin) Tenzin, Blueberry Spicehead, Ikki, Juniper Lightningbug, Twinkle Starchild, Princess Rainbow.

Despite the hilariousness of the situation though, as well as the adorable MLP-esque names Ikki gave the Bison, this scene turned out to be one of the most touching moment in this season. Seeing Ikki and Tenzin, both whom have had issues with their brothers and sisters, bond over cups of imaginary tea was wonderful. Especially as they were both able to point out the good in the other’s siblings and help each other see that family, while not perfect, is still family.

It’s also important to note that this kind of father-on-daughter quality time is apparently the kind of thing that Aang never did with his other children (or at least not very often). So to see Tenzin actually be there for his daughter and spend time with her, was a great point of contrast between Tenzin and his own father.

The whole family...
The whole family…

And while we’re on the topic of Aang… that scene with Bumi talking to Aang’s statue? Tear-worthy. Sure it was short; but in that brief moment we got to see that Tenzin isn’t the only one who is trying to live up to Aang’s legacy. Bumi may not be a bender like everyone else in his family, but he does the best with what he has and has always tried to make the world a better place (just like his father did). You gotta love that Korra isn’t afraid to tackle these issues; as the topic of family and legacy isn’t always the easiest to work into a story faithfully.

"Thanks Kya. You always know when I need a hug."
“Thanks Kya. You always know when I need a hug.”

All kidding aside though, the major “reveal” this week was that Unalaq was a bad guy the entire time. Which, frankly, probably surprised no one. I’ve heard a lot of people comment that having Unalaq be such a one dimensional bad guy is a terrible way to start the season, and that it’d be much better if they let him be layered and multi-dimensional. Those people aren’t wrong; but both Avatar and season one of Korra have been very good at giving us well fleshed-out villains. Even Ozai, who was literally just a power-hungry tyrant, was also shown to be a mentally unstable and vile man. Traits he eventually passed on to Azula, who would end up being one of the more complex villains in cartoon history.

But Korra! Fire KILLS people!
But Korra! Fire KILLS people!

I guess what I’m saying is, give the show time to breath. We’re four episodes in to a (potentially) three season story arc. Let’s not jump the gun quite yet.

It was nice to see Korra get so serious this episode, even going so far as to blatantly threaten a judge with his life to get information out of him. She certainly isn’t the same kind of Avatar as Aang, and it’s great to see her act when she has purpose. So often it seems that Korra’s biggest struggle isn’t actually getting things done, but when to do it. Aang knew what his mission was, he just had no idea how to do it. While Korra, on the other hand, has often found herself out of her element and searching to a direction to go full-steam in. It’s an interesting change in dynamics, and I like it! Especially now that Korra has a mission: gather allies to save the Southern Water Tribe.

Snack time?
Snack time?

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention Bolin and Eska’s little story throughout the episode. While his struggle to make his voice heard has pretty much just turned into comedic relief at this point, I’m still of the opinion that Bolin will probably be forced to grow a backbone here sometime soon, and am likewise not 100% convinced that Eska is only going to be in the show as a “bad guy”.

Eska = Nightmare Fuel
Eska = Nightmare Fuel

Although she does indeed make for a scary “bad guy”…

No seriously, I'm not even joking...
No seriously, I’m not even joking…

All that being said, I’m really glad to see this weeks episode return to The Last Airbender’s comedic roots. A lot of the fun of the original series was listening to Sokka run his mouth and get himself into crazy situations, or have Toph make various blind jokes about herself at everyone else’s expense. While Bolin has always been a funny guy, this is the first time I feel the show has really returned to it’s lighter-hearted yet still life-threatening serious roots. Here’s to hoping this is the first of many such episodes in the upcoming 3 seasons!


See you next week everyone!

"Captain, you are never going to believe this!"
“Captain, you are never going to believe this!”

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